Frederick Leavis (c1860-1905) was a Cambridge piano dealer. Harry Leavis (c1862- — not buried here) established a successful piano and instrument dealership first at 14 Mill Road, Cambridge, and later at 19-25 Regent Street.
Frederick William Leavis (c1860-1905), his wife Elizabeth (c1851-1924 – born in Royston), son Harry (c1884-1947) and daughter Iva (c1885-19??) were living at 28 University Terrace in 1891, Frederick being described as a ‘pianoforte dealer and waiter’.
The 1901 census records an ‘H. W. Leavis’, with his Royston-born wife ‘E.’, son ‘H.’ (a ‘clothier’s clerk’) and daughter ‘I.’, living at 11 Covent Garden, as the publican, with family, of the Six Bells public house. The ages recorded are all about ten years older than in 1891: despite one different initial and the change of occupation, this would seem to be the same family. Ten years later, in 1911, Elizabeth Leavis is recorded as a widow, living as a ‘lodging house keeper’ at 23 Mackenzie Road (beside the Cemetery), her children having presumably left home.
The Leavis family had a long-standing connection with the piano: Elihu Leavis of 19 Milton Road was recorded as a ‘pianoforte tuner’ in the 1871 and 1881 censuses; and by 1901 a Harry Leavis (not the son of Frederick – ten years older) is described as a ‘pianoforte dealer’. Around 1895 this Harry had a ‘pianoforte workshop’ at 1 Union Terrace (the corner of Mawson Road and Mill Road), and between at least 1898 and 1905 he lived with his family at 14 Mill Road, where he had a ‘pianoforte warehouse’. By 1911 he was living at 6 Chesterton Hall Crescent.
Parish: Holy Trinity
Census reports 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911; Spalding’s Street Directories of Cambridge
The images of Leavis Pianos and advert supplied by The Cambridgeshire Collection and reproduced here by kind permission
By Ian Bent